Drill: Baker Passing Series (George Karl)

We like players to learn how to pass the ball with 1-hand (rather than 2). But what are some of the ways George Karl teaches this skill?

Coach Karl – an NBA coach for almost 30 years, including 2013 Coach of the Year – is as good a resource as any for some 1-handed passing drills. We like 1-handed passing for a couple reasons.

First, 1-hand passing promotes “ambidexterity” where players become competent using both hands individually. Developing arm strength, ball control, and muscle memory with 1-hand passing drills is much more impactful than with 2-hand passing drills.

Second, 1-hand passing is more likely used in games as players mature. There will always be times players can make a 2-hand pass (chest or bounce) but being able to make a 1-hand pass gives players more options on the court. Especially when there is strong defensive pressure.

In the video below Coach Karl reviews the Baker Passing Series, progressing through 15 stages to help players improve their passing.

Baker Passing Series

DESCRIPTION Split players into pairs, and work through each progression:

  1. Right-Hand 1 Dribble (using only your right hand)
  2. Left-Hand 1 Dribble (using only your left hand)
  3. Right-Hand 2 Dribbles
  4. Left-Hand 2 Dribbles
  5. Left Dribble / Crossover / Right-Hand Pass
  6. Right Dribble / Crossover / Left-Hand Pass
  7. Scoops (for hand-eye coordination)
  8. Dribble Scoop
  9. 2 Dribble Scoop
  10. Air (keeping the ball above the shoulders)
  11. 1 Dribble Air
  12. 2 Dribble Air
  13. Right Dribble / Crossover / Left-Hand Air
  14. Left Dribble / Crossover / Right-Hand Air
  15. Behind the Back Bounce
SKILL FOCUS Passing, 1-Hand Passing, Receiving
AGE (STAGE) 8+ (Learn to Train Stage)
EQUIPMENT 1 basketball per player
VARIATION: Add some movement (like a side shuffle in-between passes) to incorporate additional challenges as well as changing the angle of passes.

We love seeing new 1-handed passing drills to help our coaches help their players become excellent passers. What are some of your favorite passing drills? Share in the comments below!

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